The History of the Hijacking
On the Thanksgiving Eve of 1971, Dan Cooper walked past the ticket booth to
wait to board a plane from Portland, Oregon to Seattle-Tacoma Airport (Sea-
Tac), Washington. He had bought a one-way ticket to Seattle with a 20-
dollar bill. He was a normal looking man of some 30 years old, he looked
so benign and business looking that no one would have ever suspected that
he would soon become a famous skyjacker. At little past 4' o clock in the
evening, he boarded Flight 305 to Seattle. Just before the plane took off
from Portland, Dan Cooper passed a note to a stewardess (Florence
Schaffner) demanding 4 parachutes, $200 thousand in unmarked bills and
cautioning the plane crew not to try any "funny stuff." In the note, he
also claimed that he had a bomb in his briefcase. At first, the stewardess
thought that he was asking for her phone number and pocketed it unread.
Noticing the note unread in the stewardess' pocket, Dan Cooper called her
attention to the note just after the plane took off. As soon as Ms.
Schaffner read the note, she notified the flight crew who in turn got in
touch with the airline and airport officials. "Schaffner was sent back to
talk to Cooper and see if she could tell if he really had a bomb. Cooper
briefly opened the briefcase and the stewardess later recalled she saw some
red cylinders and wires." Communication between the pilots and Dan
Cooper was from then was through notes passed to him by one of the flight
attendants. One of the passengers noticed that notes were frequently
passed to Dan Cooper, and later joked that he thought Dan Cooper and the
stewardess was having an "affair." Meanwhile on the ground...